If you are someone who practices their drums in an urban setting or an apartment, you usually have to deal with complaining neighbors. You could try to schedule your drum practice at times when neighbors aren’t home, but this can get tiring after a point. So, if you want to practice drums at your leisure without bothering your neighbors, here are some things you could do.
Practice Drums—Without Bothering Your Neighbours
Electronic drum set
Electronic drums are no longer limited to low-quality drum samples and noisy rubber pads. The latest generation of electronic drums feature mesh heads that are quiet and at the same time feel pretty close to an acoustic kit. No matter how hard you play on an electronic drum set, the chances of anyone hearing you next door is very low.
Electronic drums have plenty of other perks too. They usually come in with plenty of drum sets inbuilt, so it will allow you to experiment with new genres of music without having to invest in a new drum kit. If you have a room with poor acoustics, an electronic drum makes even more sense. While an acoustic drum kit might sound bad in such a room, an electronic drum remains unaffected. With many companies now manufacturing the best drum set for you and your lifestyle, you will be able to find one within your budget that suits your needs
If you want a cymbal that isn’t loud, you have two options. You could get a set of rubber cymbals. While these are pretty cheap, their tone and feel is quite different from that of an acoustic cymbal and aren’t preferred by most people. If you have little money to spend, you can invest in low-volume cymbals from Zildjian.
These cymbals have tiny holes all over them which helps reduce overall mass. This allows these cymbals to have the feel and tone of a normal cymbal while producing only 20% of the volume. The company also has a set of custom pickups that can be attached to your low volume cymbals which will allow you to record and manipulate the cymbal. You can even listen to them through your headphones.
Replace drum heads
Mesh heads used in electronic drums are great at producing low sounds. The good thing about them is that they can also be used on acoustic drum sets. You can replace the heads of your existing drum kit with a set of Mesh heads from Roland and you will see a drastic reduction in volume.
The mesh heads aren’t particularly expensive and should cost you the same as any typical batter head. This makes this an affordable option compared to replacing your entire kit. Don’t change all the heads on your drums, only replace the batter heads(these are the ones you hit)while leaving the resonant heads as they are.
Replacing your sticks with hotrods or brushes is a simple and inexpensive way to lower volume. The effectiveness of this method is however limited. While this will be great at reducing the volume of your cymbals, there is no effect on your kick drum.
Muffling your bass drum
If your neighbors seem to particularly hate your bass drum, there are some easy ways to reduce its volume. You’ll need to remove the resonant head first, this is the head that would be facing away from you while playing.
You should then add things that soak sound into the cavity. You could use things around your house like pillows, rugs, and even that towel you never use. The more the cavity is filled, the more the noise will get muffled and the lesser the neighbors will complain.
Using Practice pads
Practice pads are a great temporary option. These silencer pads are usually made of rubbers and you can easily attach these to your acoustic kit. These will greatly reduce the sound that comes out of your kit.
However, in the long run, attaching and removing these practice pads could get tiresome and you should try more permanent solutions in such cases.
Soundproofing your room
It’s a dream for every drummer to have a soundproof room in their house so that they can practice to their heart's content without disturbing others and without being disturbed by others. It is however important that you realize that properly soundproofing a room is going to be expensive.
While closing your doors and windows tight is going to reduce the sound going out, it isn’t going to get you far. Also, do not fall for soundproofing myths and end up covering all your walls with egg cartons. If you are really serious about soundproofing your room, it will take up some time and a lot of money.
However, the end result will be pretty dope. You will be able to practice at any time of the day without having to worry about anyone. The better acoustics in a soundproof room will also improve the sound of your acoustic kit. It also opens up the opportunity of using your soundproof room as a place to record your songs.